US Chess Discussion

Welcome! This blog has no connection with the USCF. It's a blog where I provide chess fans with general information about US Chess as well as the USCF. It's also a site where everyone can productively discuss or ask questions about various USCF issues! Your contributions and comments are welcome! PLEASE KEEP IT CIVIL & RESPECT OTHERS! Enjoy! All posts that do not meet this guideline will be deleted -- WIN WITH GRACE, LOSE WITH DIGNITY!(TM) --- 2006 Susan Polgar©

Monday, January 15, 2007

My various responses

Dear Bill (Smythe from IL),

I have been criticized many times in my life. I have no problem with it. That is a part of life. People are entitled to disagree and speak out. That is not what I talk about.

It is totally inexcusable when deliberate and vicious lies are launched to permanently harm people on a personal and professional level. I will not accept this.

We, as an organization, need to protect ALL members equally. I stand for professionalism and I will never change whether I will be elected to the Executive Board or not.

As I stated earlier, I have taken my platform directly to the USCF members. I have done that for a while already. I have met tens and thousands of people each year.

I am also the most assessable World Champion in the world through my websites, blogs and face to face meetings. How many World Champions would allow the public to communicate directly with them on a daily basis? It means that I welcome interaction, suggestions, discussions or even criticism from chess players.

I am me. I believe in strong ethics, integrity and professionalism, I refuse to behave like some of these chess politicians. I am not going to get into this dirty and destructive game. If that will cost me some votes then so be it.

Thank you for sharing your opinion.

Best wishes, Susan Polgar


Dear Duncan (Oxley from CA),

Thank you and I understand your points and they are fair. However, please let me offer you this. Paul has been a friend of mine since 1985-86. He has helped me countless times over the years without anyone ever knowing about it. He does not like the limelight. He is quiet and reserved. He asked me not to talk about him. Most people do not know this.

In 2001 when I asked him to be my business manager, he first declined. Only after when I convinced him of my vision to promote chess in the US that he changed his mind because he loves chess and he wanted to see it grow the right way. All of a sudden, he was being asked to change hats and become a public figure, in essence, the bad guy, the enforcer.

What have been some of his roles? He was asked to defend and protect the 2004 US Women's Olympiad Team. Do you know how many times the members of this team were called various names? He defended and protected all of us to give us a chance and piece of mind to concentrate on our jobs in Spain. He did his job and we did our jobs.

He was asked to defend us again when signed legal contracts were broken. He was asked to protect us when chess politicians were trying to lie about the facts to smear our names and when private info was leaked for political reasons. He was asked to be put in the most unfortunate situations. He did it without pay and without complains.

When he is being compensated, he usually donated that money to the US Chess Trust, the SPF or other good groups. He was the only one in US Chess history to succeed because we came back with 4 Women's Olympiad medals (2 gold and 2 silver medals). He helped the entire team overcome all obstacles and relentless attacks.

I asked him to promote the SPF and various activities on a less than shoe string budget and he achieved better results than even some organizations with millions of dollars to spend. He succeeded in everything that was asked of him. Another word, he is being blame for doing his job better than anyone else.

He was asked by me not to respond when people falsely accused him of cheating when I was the one who asked him to test out lines for me on the Internet. I needed to rework my repertoire without anyone knowing about it. He was and still is my trainer and my results since coming out of retirement are better than ever.

He was asked by me not to respond when people falsely accused him of being BB on the Internet. Why? Because I was in a lengthy legal battle (and still am) with this individual and I did not want anything to jeopardize it.

I have dealt with tens and thousands of people in my 30+ year career and he is undoubtedly the most loyal and most professional person I have ever met.

I approach this election and the USCF the same way I approached each of my world championship event or Olympiad. There has to be a goal and vision. Then you bring in the best team (such as trainers, practice partners, physical trainers, etc.) to help you accomplish that goal. I did not approach this election in 1 day. I took a long time to pinpoint the weaknesses and came up with a comprehensive plan and team which I strongly believe can successfully address these weaknesses. This is how I approach everything in life.

I can tell you without hesitation that Paul will be the most important piece of the puzzle. He can bring something that no one else could and that the USCF needs the most. There is no one who could even come close. That is the bottom line. The same goes with others pieces of the puzzle.

There is zero ounce of political motive in any of my decision. The best interest of US Chess and the USCF always comes first. I put in a lot of energy and thoughts to do this for one reason only and that is to fix the USCF. We cannot continue to survive year after year with massive internal destruction.

In the next few months, I will unveil one piece of the puzzle at the time. This will be the most unique and professional election. This is why I chose not to respond to the "typical" trashing by the "typical" chess politicians. We have to rise above it and I will step up to do it.

Thank you again for your post and I ask that you please give my vision and goals a fair evaluation.

Best wishes, Susan Polgar


Thank you Mike (Swatek from OK). This is one part of the USCF culture I would like to change. It does no good to go back and forth. That will only contribute further to the destruction of this federation. Therefore, I will give them the last words. I believe Mr. Duncan stated something very important earlier, most of the USCF members are smarter than that. They can see the truth.

There have been too much hatred and animosity already. We have to work hard to unite everyone. I realize that people can never agree to everything. Even my sisters and I disagree on issues. But I am sure people can see our results by working together and helping each other. After all, we have a very big common bond: Our love for chess! The same goes with the members of the USCF.

This election is very important to me, not as an individual, but as a voice for countless frustrated members for years. I have been traveling around this country for the past 5 years promoting chess and speaking to tens and thousands of USCF and non USCF members. I do not forget the comments that were made to me. I want to keep those members and I want the non-members to proudly join us.

Now that my children are a little older (hopefully they do not grow so fast), I am ready, willing and able to do everything in my power to energize US Chess and the USCF as well as restoring the integrity, credibility and respectability for this federation. We must move on in the positive direction.

But I cannot do it alone. That is why I have asked the most qualified people to join me in this critical mission. I also want to energize the local and state networks to help promote our game the grassroots way.

Thank you for the kind words and thank you for your support!

Best wishes, Susan Polgar


Michael (Aigner from CA),

Thank you for your honest thoughts. The answer is very simple. I cannot do what Paul does and he cannot do what I do. That is why we work well together for many years and that is why this federation needs his expertise. I do not know of a single person that can do what he does. He is good in what he does and I am good in what I do. We are as different as night and day.

The same goes with Randy Bauer or Mikhail Korenman. People keep throwing the word slate as we are planning to take over the world Randy, Mikhail and I have not spoken in a long time. For some reasons, people seem to think that we are all the same people and have the same opinion. We may on some issues and we may also disagree on other issues. I did not ask Randy, Mikhail or Paul to do this to agree with me. I asked them to bring their incredible and unique expertise to the USCF.

If you do not feel that I have the vision or ability to change the USCF for the better then please vote for other qualified candidates. I have no problem with that. Members should vote for the candidates who can help this federation the most.

This federation sure needs it. Happy New Year and Good Luck with your FM title quest! This will be my last post here for a while. Time to get back to other chess activities!

Best wishes, Susan Polgar
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  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 1:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Way to go on the USCF forums today, Susan. Is it just me or have we turned the corner on all of the attacks? I wonder if my thread “The Case Against Susan Polgar” may have had something to do with it. It was so “in your face” to your opponents as it was meant to be. Of course, your firm stand against all the lies, etc., your 3 letters to the Board Members, and your withdrawal of participation was 90% of it, if indeed a corner has been turned.

    As for others who may be reading this, I have come to the belief that we should participate if we can. It is our USCF and it is time we take it back. The forums is one place we can start. Yes, I know the limits of the audience, and all that. But it is a start. And I’m aware that it’s not the most pleasant thing to do. In fact it’s a sacrifice but sometimes a good cause justifies sacrifice.

    I’ve been watching Susan’s DVD on chess tactics and it’s gotten me to thinking of the tactics to use on the forums. One thing is that I think people use the quote feature way too much. My own posts are too lengthy to begin with. Why compound the problem by padding them with unnecessary quotes?

    Another problem I have with the tactic of extensive quoting is that it is the equivalent of giving an opponent an extra move. If somebody wants to attack Susan, then let him do it on his own time. I’ve been using quotes, but only when necessary to show the reader exactly the point that I am answering.

    Another tactic is to address people by name. I notice that Susan is quite good at that. People like seeing their name recognized. It is respectful as well as disarming. Good manners as well as good tactics.

    The most important tactic is to have a communications objective and focus on that. Like chess tactics, I can recite it but I sometimes have trouble implementing it. I lost my last game at last Saturday’s tournament because I walked into a simple pin. I know what a pin is; I know the pattern; so why didn’t I implement it?

    The same goes with posting on the forums, though. I notice a common pattern in Susan’s posts that she reprinted here. A plea for civility. The problem with establishing a communications objective is that it takes discipline. It’s hard to not get sidetracked.

  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 1:15:00 AM, Blogger SusanPolgar said…

    Thank you Jack but I am done posting there for a while. I gave them a chance but it is obvious that some do not want the truth. They do not want to know how people can help the USCF. All they care about is splashing dirt and argue. I do not have the time to waste.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Polgar

  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 1:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, I got the feeling that you were reaching the point of diminishing returns, too. I do think you clarified some important points, though. Your posts were worthwhile.

    Your clarification of Paul's role was especially helpful.

  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 11:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know that we all wish to change the USCF for the better. It's certianly a challenge. In fact its more that can be done in a year. With that in mind, what is the single most important action you plan to take if elected?

    For exanple, if I were elected, my main goal would be to increase membership. This would include youth and adults. That not only includes bringing people in, but making sure they renew each year.

  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 11:25:00 AM, Blogger SusanPolgar said…

    Jerry, membership is one of them. My goal is to increase the membership to above 100,000. We are now barely over 80,000. This will bring additional revenues in many ways:

    - Membership dues
    - Books & Equipment revenues
    - Tournament revenues
    - Ratings fees revenues, etc.

    However, the #1 most important goal and the #1 priority for me is to restore the credibility, integrity, respectability of chess and the USCF. This will directly help the USCF gain additional membership.

    We cannot afford to continue losing supporters / sponsors that put in $250,000 or more for the annual US Championship.

    There are many things on my agenda and I will make them happen.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Polgar

  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 11:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks. Also when I say, "If I were elected," I really meant, "If I were running." I certianly am in no position to take something like that on. :)

  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 3:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Do you think it's feasible to sell enough ad space in Chess Life to cover the cost of its production?

    Is it the your goal to bring in advertising dollars from companies that aren't necessarily related to chess?

    I think potential clients need a better understanding of our demographic. We aren't as nerdy and sterotypical as the mainstream may think.

    It's possible that if the USCF creates some relationships through Chess Life ads, which can be low risk for the client, they may be willing to put money up at a major chess event.

  • At Tuesday, January 16, 2007 4:01:00 PM, Blogger SusanPolgar said…

    Jerry, with the current state of the USCF, no. Few serious companies would want to put ads in a national magazine of a national organization with a convicted felon on the executive board. Not only one of the board members served time in jail, he lied to the USCF members about his conviction and his disgusting website severely hurts the image of the USCF. I hope that one day, we will get to the stage where our ad space will be valuable.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Polgar

  • At Wednesday, January 17, 2007 8:40:00 AM, Blogger Henry said…

    I recently checked out the forums, and initially I was frustrated with the way they make it relatively difficult to register, since it's a two-step process to register your account online as a USCF member, and then again separately for the forums, while waiting for the monitor to manually approve of the registration.

    However, after looking through the forums several times, I am glad the USCF has made registration more cumbersome.

    I've never seen such a poisonous newsgroup in my life! A core group of a dozen people continually attack and counterattack each other. If I ever want to get into a foul mood, I'll definitely log on again. Many of these people have no manners and respect for others. S.S., while he may have some good points, destroys that credibility by making accusations before he has the evidence to back them up.

    Also, I'm a firm believer in the importance of attitude. While problems at the federation exist, people can try to work on them TOGETHER in a positive manner. I believe you have that philosophy, Susan. The negativity in the posts is just awful.

    I can't wait to vote this year for you Susan and am glad not too many people read the forums, as the current dialoge on USCF issues would turn off many potential and current members. I'm glad that folks like Jack seem to try to elevate the dialog over there...

  • At Wednesday, January 17, 2007 8:46:00 AM, Blogger SusanPolgar said…

    Yes, Henry, that is the problem. There are about a dozen or two people who year after year chase away good people. If they are willing to publicly fabricate things to attack me (when basically all the facts about me are public records), what would they do to less known people?

    The sad part is these people are doing very little to help chess and the damage they cause is massive.

    I am determined to clean this mess up but it will not be easy. They have not reliquished their power in the past few decades and they will not go away without a fight.

    Thank you for your support!

    Best wishes,
    Susan Polgar


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